Identifying Abuse from Publishers and Competitors

Continue to Part II: Click Forensic Software»

Introduction to Click Fraud

Click fraud is a serious problem for many webmasters, and one which can have serious financial consequences for the victims. Click fraud is when a person either physically or through the use of software, clicks on and advertisement or makes a charge through a link designed for legitimate business purposes. Victims of click fraud can see their budgets skyrocket when affiliates or other visitors try to raise their revenue by making it appear that there is more interest in an advertisement, or more traffic to a certain website than there really is. Fortunately, there are many click fraud tools that have been released recently to help combat this illegitimate and costly practice.

Costs and Skills Required in Detecting and Preventing Click Fraud

Many click fraud detection programs are fairly simple to install and use, and most users who have the skills to run an internet advertising campaign, ebusiness sites, and with generally more advanced skill sets should be able to use these programs with few problems. Many companies, such as Google, include a certain amount of click fraud detection tools to their customers, but more robust programs can be purchased from upwards of a few hundred dollars.

Checklist for Selecting Click Fraud Software

  • Click fraud audit
  • Date and time of visit
  • Visitor client IP address
  • Country
  • Referring domain
  • Total time on site
  • Full referrer information
  • Landing page with all info
  • Specific campaign ID

First Steps

If you think your website is experiencing click fraud determined by statistical anomalies in your finances or reports then looking into purchasing click fraud tools might be a good way to analyze your campaigns and find out the root causes. Of course, before investing hundreds of dollars into a software solution, users should check their advertising campaigns to determine if click fraud is indeed the cause, or if the problem isn't simply a poorly functioning campaign that is drawing in unqualified visitors.

Continue to Part II: Click Forensic Software»

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